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Thread: From the Earth to the Moon MiniSeries

  1. #1
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    From the Earth to the Moon MiniSeries

    From 1998, produced by Tom Hanks and HBO. Overly sentimental at times, perhaps, but a lot of questions I had (not conspiracy minded, just more along the lines of 'how'd they do that?) were answered....like just how Armstrong sent live video back to Earth....the TV camera was on an articulated arm he activated as he descended the ladder. And the "Spider" ep showed just how hard contractors - in this case the company building the LEM/LM - worked and worked to get things right. These stories represent thousands of people working very hard on the Apollo project. Of course 'spiracy prone folks will spin all sorts of crazy notions to explain away anything that supports the fact that we actually did go to the moon. But for people really wanting to get a sense of the daunting task and how it was done, check out this miniseries. Last I checked, the boxset was on DVD.

  2. #2
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    Well as for the TV, because of space issues in the LM the camera was mounted upside down on the MESA (I believe) and the video was "flipped" after reception. The video was transmitted back to earth over the VHF directional antenna and picked up over the MSFN for transfer and rebroadcast after being "washed" and improved by ground personel. After doing all the "One small step" stuff, the camera could be removed and repositioned to another spot to broadcast the rest of the EVA. The other experts on the board can correct me if needed as I've been known to make a mistake or two. :wink:

    The "Spider" episode is one of my favs. I loved the fact they thought that 7 years would be plenty of time to design and build it. Surprise!! Things aren't always so easy! Plus they initially designed seats, picture windows, and two docking hatches into it. Interesting. Tom Kelley wrote a book not too long ago telling the story of how the LM came to be. A good read.

  3. #3
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    Re: From the Earth to the Moon MiniSeries

    Quote Originally Posted by cjc36
    Last I checked, the boxset was on DVD.
    And there is this book that was used as the basis for the mini-series.

    A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
    by Andrew L. Chaikin

    (edit 4 code)

  4. #4
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    It also come as a nice box set with 3 books with beautiful pictures.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NASA Fan
    It also come as a nice box set with 3 books with beautiful pictures.
    Yeah. I got all three for 20 bucks at B&N some time ago ;-) I choose the cheapest shipping available, otherwise shipping would have been more than the books.

  6. #6
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    Yeah. I got all three for 20 bucks at B&N some time ago ;-)

    The WEEK after I bought mine for $99 is when it went down to $20. grrrr

    For those who have read Tom Kelley's Moon Lander did anyone else find it as dry as I did?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waarthog
    For those who have read Tom Kelley's Moon Lander did anyone else find it as dry as I did?
    Haven't read it yet. But if you don't like 'dry' books on the space program, I recommend Sy Liebergot's autobiograpy http://www.apolloeecom.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waarthog
    Yeah. I got all three for 20 bucks at B&N some time ago ;-)
    Thats an insane price. I've never seen this the cheap side of $99 the few times I've noticed ones around, which is why I don't own it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waarthog

    For those who have read Tom Kelley's Moon Lander did anyone else find it as dry as I did?
    Yeah, I just read it a few months ago. I liked it, but it was pretty dry. One thing Kelly does however is describe people very well--by that I mean, whenever he introduces a new person in the book, he gives a very rich description of them.

    In From the Earth to the Moon, you get the impression that Tom Kelly was the "guy in charge" of the whole Grumman effort. Moon Lander shows that Kelly was one of many managers, and it also gives you the impression that there were a lot more people working on the project than the miniseries shows (which is okay, as you can't flood the miniseries with too many characters, otherwise the viewer will get lost).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waarthog
    For those who have read Tom Kelley's Moon Lander did anyone else find it as dry as I did?
    There's a book called Chariots for Apollo, also about the building of the LM, that is a better read than Moon Lander if not as insightful. (There's a NASA book by the same title about the whole program, too, but that's not what I'm talking about.)
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Lambert
    Quote Originally Posted by Waarthog
    Yeah. I got all three for 20 bucks at B&N some time ago ;-)
    Thats an insane price. I've never seen this the cheap side of $99 the few times I've noticed ones around, which is why I don't own it.
    I just ordered the set for $50 online. Prices for sets in good condition seem to be around $40-50 via amazon, alibris, or abebooks (all .com).
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  12. #12
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    Kelly's book reads like an engineering management textbook: fascinating, but not something you want on your beach house night stand.

    Pellegrino's Chariots For Apollo is long on literary merit, but also long on poetic license. There is much in it that is erroneous and apocryphal.

  13. #13
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    Have any of you read Gene Kranz's book, "Failure is Not an Option?" Of course, it repeats a lot of the same material as in Chaikin's book, but he does add a couple of interesting "behind the scenes" stories that he was directly involved in, and of course it's interesting to simply get his personal take on some of the personalites and events where he gives his opinions in addition to simply re-telling the story.

    One of the stories from the book involves a long Gemini mission during which the flight surgeons wanted to have periodic conversations with the crew regarding their medical status. To handle the crew's understandable concerns over privacy and the standard practice at the time to let the press monitor all broadcast communications, the flight controllers came up with a plan to use the code phrase "Request a UHF-6 test" to indicate that a private medical conference was to follow. Then the press feed would be disabled, the flight surgeon would go into a separate room and talk to the crew on a different channel so that in the main control room it would appear as though no communication was taking place.

    The funny part is that it worked for a time, but after a while the press started asking more and more questions about what exactly a "UHF-6 test" really was, until finally they figured it out and asked directly, "Is the UHF-6 test a code to request a private medical conference?" and NASA was forced to say, "well, yes."

    Now, if NASA couldn't even keep something as simple as this a secret for a couple of days during one Gemini mission, how in the world could they have kept the ENTIRE Apollo "hoax" a secret for years and years?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Rico
    Have any of you read Gene Kranz's book, "Failure is Not an Option?"
    I'd pick that as the best single memoir from Project Apollo, with Michael Collins' Carrying the Fire a close second.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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